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Dar digs in as common market deadline nears

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Apr 2, 2009
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    Dar digs in as common market deadline nears

    By The Citizen Team

    With the signing of the East African Community (EAC) Common Market Protocol barely a month away, Tanzania has maintained that it would not sign the document if it does not meet its expectations.

    However, the stance voiced by East African Cooperation deputy minister Mohammed Aboud when he spoke to The Citizen yesterday contradicts what was agreed in Kampala on Tuesday.

    Delegates to the 9th round of negotiations on the common market agreed to have the set of rules penned down, with or without the pending issues.

    The High-Level Task Force, a team of experts set up by member states to negotiate on their behalf, said 95 per cent of the work had been done "with significant consensus".

    But Mr Aboud said yesterday Tanzania's position was still the same, adding that the Government had already presented its position, which other members had to consider.

    "We have made it amply clear that land issues should not be part of the common market protocol this is a sensitive issue on which we cannot let others bulldoze us," he said.

    He noted that the EAC member states had contrasting laws, policies and regulations on land.

    "Our position (on land issues) as we prepare to enter the common market has not changed. We firmly believe that our policies, laws and regulations are different," Mr Aboud said.

    "We will sign the agreement, but we shall stick to our stand the protocol must take into account Tanzania's position and we've made this clear to other member states."

    The stand is yet another clear indication that the partner states cannot fully agree on some crucial issues.

    The negotiations, which have dragged on since April last year, have been bogged down by the failure of the member states to reach a consensus on issues such as access to land for non-citizens and free movement of labour.

    Opening Tuesday's talks, EAC deputy secretary general (projects and programmes) Julius Onen challenged the experts involved in the negotiations to draft a protocol that would be in the best interests of the region.

    "The fundamental aspiration is to have a good protocol. And a good protocol is the one where there is consensus by all the parties," he told members of the task force.

    Mr Onen asaid there could never be a "perfect" agreement on anything, and stressed that the most important thing was for the parties to reach a common consensus that would serve the region's interests.

    The head of delegations from Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda agreed to use the last round of the negotiations in Kampala to unblock all the "bracketed areas" and have the draft protocol ready for signing by the EAC heads of state during their summit in Arusha later this month.

    Mr Onen said EAC member states were yet to fully agree on some "thorny issues" and some proposals, but said 95 per cent of the task had been accomplished.

    "Since the first sessions started, a lot of work has been done that led to consensus on a large number of the provisions of the proposed protocol," he said.

    The negotiations for the EAC Common Market started in April last year after almost a two-year delay, and were initially due to be concluded last December.

    However, the deadline was pushed forward to this month to be followed by the protocol's ratification in June. The tentative date for the commencement of the Common Market is next year.

    Eight rounds of negotiations have taken place in as many months in Kigali, Nairobi, Zanzibar, Bujumbura, Kisumu and Kampala.

    Outstanding issues in the negotiations have been free movement of goods, persons, workers, capital and services, all aimed at enhancing intra-regional trade and investment, as well as the right of establishment and residence.

    Others are matters pertaining to economic and financial sector policy coordination, transport policy, consumer welfare, common commercial and social policies and environmental management.

    Also under the Common Market draft protocol are cooperation in statistics, research and technological development; cooperation in intellectual property rights, institutional framework, industrial development and agriculture and food security.

    Tanzania was recently criticised by some fellow EAC member countries for opposing the clause that would allow citizens from other member states to access and acquire land in the country.

    Kenya, in particular, has said Tanzania's opposition to various clauses contained in the draft protocol was enough indication that the country was dragging its feet in the EAC integration process.

    However, East African Cooperation ministry officials have downplayed the allegations, saying Tanzania's land remains accessible to serious investors from all over the world.

    Mr Owora Richard-Othieno, the acting head of EAC directorate of corporate communications and public affairs, told The Citizen from Kampala that the final draft of the Common Market Protocol would be concluded on Saturday.

    The proposals contained in the draft protocol would be tabled before a meeting of the multi-sectoral council of the EAC Common Market Protocol scheduled for April 8 and 9 in Kampala. The meeting will give guidance on some issues.

    The protocol will then be presented to the seventh meeting of the EAC Sectoral Council on Legal and Judicial Affairs scheduled for April 16 and 17 in Dar es Salaam for consideration before being tabled before the heads of state on April 26.

    Mr Uledi Mussa, the director of trade, investments and productive sectors in the East African Cooperation ministry, is leading Tanzania's delegation to the talks.

    Trade in services, common transport policy and resident policy issues, competition and consumer products and industrialisation and cooperation in intellectual property rights are the outstanding issues that the Kampala meeting has to address before the April 29 deadline for the signing of the protocol.

    "The key issues for the common market are more less in place. What is outstanding are the various schedules for implementation, which are basically technical not political," Mr Mussa said.

    The EAC Customs Union, which is the entry point of the community, has been operational since January 2005. The common market is the second phase of the integration process.

    Reported by Joseph Olanyo in Kampala; Zephania Ubwani in Arusha and Vicent Mnyanyika in Dar es Salaam
  2. L

    LaVerite Member

    Apr 3, 2009
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    I think there is one thing Tanzania and even other well-wishing EAC members should ensure is worked upon. This a mechanism that would ensure that when a country is committed and signs certain EAC protocols it is obliged to conform without which a certain penalty or punishment is applied, eg sanctions etc. This is because some countries might be very eager now to intergrate, but only for temporary, self-interests and when they have accomplished what they want they might try to break up the whole thing or exit from the EAC or violate with impunity the protocols this would be a waste of time to countries such as TZ which are so committed and take their time to ensure they do it right.
  3. PatPending

    PatPending JF-Expert Member

    Apr 3, 2009
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    I don't trust our negotiators to do anything right, it may be helpful to call an emergency session of the parliament to discuss the proposed agreement before the inking charade.
  4. L

    LaVerite Member

    Apr 3, 2009
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    Nilikutana nao mwaka jana kwenye EAC integration government consultative meeting at Ubungo plaza and I was shocked. The competency of Uledi, chief negotiator, is very questionable just expressing h/self well is a problem. Ni kweli bunge lingeingilia kati kuhakikisha haili kwetu.
  5. Mpita Njia

    Mpita Njia JF-Expert Member

    Apr 3, 2009
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    TUna bahati mbaya sana watanzania kuwa tumekuwa watu wa blah blah. Tumezoe maneno na wala si kujiandaa kukabiliana na challenges. Tunajua kabisa hii Commonj market ni lazima ije, lakini badala ya kujiandaa jinsi ya kukabiliana nayo, tunazidi kung'ang'ania misimamo. hata hakuna strategy ya kuwafanya wenzetu wakubaliane na hoja zetu-sasa tunaonekana kama tunataka kulazimisha.
    Nakumbuka mwaka 2005 tulipoanzisha ushuru wa forodha wa pamoja, tulipewa miaka mitano kujiandaa kabla kenya hawajaanza kuleta bidhaa zao kwetu bila ushuru. nina uhakika kwua hakuna lolote la maana lililofanyika kujiandaa na hilo na mwakani kenya wataanza kumwaga bidhaa zao kwetu na sisi hatuna cha kupeleka kwao, labda mahindi kwa sababu wana njaa lakini na sisi njaa inatunyemelea
  6. L

    LaVerite Member

    Apr 3, 2009
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    Mpitanjia umesema kweli. Inabidi tujitahidi kubadilika la sivyo tutakuwa na wakati mgumu.
  7. M

    MzalendoHalisi JF-Expert Member

    Apr 3, 2009
    Joined: Jun 24, 2007
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    Blaa Blaa saa ingine zinatuzidi!

    Over Ardhi..ni Tz tu tuna maeneo makubwa! Kenya ardhi kubwa nzuri iko chini ya wachache tu kama familia za Kenyatta, Kibaki na Moi! Tz ni tofauti!

    Tusema mtu nje ya Tz hawezi kuwa na ardhi peke yake lazima iwe na ubia na Mtz say Mtz 60% na Other EA national 40%!

    Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi na Kenya wote hawa hawana ardhi ya kutosha!

    Taabu sisi wenyewe hatuna mikakati ya kujiandaa vema kwanza! Tunabaki tunalalamika tu kuwa tunaonewa!

    Pia watafutwe watu makini ktk negotiation: hata taifa liwapeleka shule nje ktk negotiatiaon skills and techniques..na pia sehemu zingine kama EU, ASEAN etc!

    We lack strategic thinking in planning in these areas!
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  8. Zakumi

    Zakumi JF-Expert Member

    Apr 3, 2009
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    Nina rafiki yangu Mkenya na anachotaka ni kununua ardhi Tanzania.
  9. L

    LaVerite Member

    Apr 3, 2009
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    Mzalendo you hhave a point. Yaani viongozi wetu wameingia madarakani kwa ajili ya ulaji tu. Hawana nia, malengo, uchungu wala uwezo wa kuongoza nchi hii. Hawana kabisa uwezo wala utashi wa kuona mbali, kupanga mikakati na kujibiidisha kuhakikisha nchi hii inaendelea. Leaders who were spending time stratergising for Tanzania's development are long gone. Now it is only politicking. Lakini waTanzania tujilaumu wenyewe.
  10. Sonara

    Sonara JF-Expert Member

    Apr 3, 2009
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    Masikitiko kuona TANZANIA haikubaliani na maswali ya Ardhi sisi sote ni wafrika pia ni jirani sasa Tatizo liko wapi ?ushirikiano na umoja ni maendeleo kwa wananchi sasa ikiwa leo Tanzania inaoga mswada wa ardhi kuwa wa pamoja inaonesha dhahiri Hofu iliyowajaa wa zanzibari kuhusu uhamiaji wa watu wengi kulingana naudogo wa kisiwa chao ni haki kwao kuhofia adhi yao ndogo kuvamiwa kunahaja wazanzibar nao kutolikubali la umilikaji wa ardhi kwa wageni au watu wasio kuwa wazanzibari
  11. A

    Alpha JF-Expert Member

    Apr 3, 2009
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    How many of our leaders are competent? With all the natural wealth in this country if these people were competent would we be this poor?

    These so called leaders of ours are a joke!